Monday, June 30, 2003

I swear to God, this is really the last Bush story . . . He and his Minders have lost it!

Why is the political system so corrupt?

Answer: Bush raising wads of money: Expects to clean up in California too
At least $426,640 a day, seven days a week, every week from now until November 2004.
That's how much President Bush plans to spend on his re-election under the most conservative calculations of his campaign staff. It could be much more.
Bush has been a successful money raiser since his days as Texas governor, but his 2004 effort promises to shatter previous records and put the Republican incumbent in a more dominant position than any presidential candidate in history.
$426,640 per day! America has sunk to still deeper depths of decadence and greed. Our government, once for the good of the people, has been privatized and is now the plaything of the rich and powerful.

· We are lost as a civil society. [LosAngelesviaCraigNotes]
· Why Liberal Art stopped blogging [LiberalArtMafia ]

NB: First Kezza deserted my physical part of the universe and then virtual Gianna fell under the spell of the sexier moveable type blocks like Scott.
However, after being initially tempted by the size and complexity of the bells and whistles, Gianna is back to the no frill area of blogging where grass is less greener according to some elitists... Welcome Back to the joy of that earthy desk set type of blogspots...

Sunday, June 29, 2003


The Luck of the Slavs: Discover New Brutal Dreamers!
(West of Hell: Cold River)

Cast your minds back to the late 1970s when West German and Austrian journalists began to spot an interesting trend. A new series of risky escapes across the Iron Curtain had captured the hearts of the newspaper readers' with the consequence that - shock horror! - youth of Eastern Europe actually risked their lives in order to be free.

Czechoslovak's experience was simple: by 1977 the internal crisis of the totalitarian system grew so deep that it became clear to everyone, and when more and more young people learned to speak their own language and rejected the hollow, mendacious language of the powers that be, it meant that freedom seemed remarkably close, if not directly within reach. As soon as the theme of the Charter 77 spread through pubs, it seemed that the king was naked and the mysterious radiant energy that came from the charter turned out to be more powerful than the strongest army, police force, or party organization, stronger than the greatest power of a centrally directed and centrally devastated economy, or of the centrally controlled and centrally enslaved media.

What communists all had in common was the apparent need to steal extra priviledges, such as access to goods sold at tuzex shops, and to acquire amazing amount of power for doing whatever it was Husaks of our world did.

Meanwhile, many samizdat newsletters repeated the words of their teachers, such as Marta Chamillova: If you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself.

Censored letters from my two exiled aunties, French Zofka and West German Otka, eroded some of the myths and told many fascinating stories betwen the lines. At the heart of all oppression lies the abuse of freedom. My parents were denied the opportunity to visit their sisters living in the West. Lacking the protection of procommunist family, I have experienced what it was like to be taken for a slave...(more)
· Crossing the Iron Curtain in '1980' was Our Final Distinction From '1984.' [Musing about People ]
· Be Loyal to People Not Institutions [Chicago Tribune]
Dare to Cross

By now you're probably saying, "Forget it, this is a chasm neither I nor my company are crossing!" Yes, it may be unrealistic to think your newsletter would ever share any of these traits, at least in their purest form. But look at the underlying lessons. Corporations large and small pride themselves on creating an image bigger than life. Along the way, we've lost touch with not only ourselves but also the people we communicate with. If companies don't move toward authenticity, personal voice, passion, freer speech, truth, and reality, they'll continue to loose touch with customers.

Do you dare start your company down this path? Can you find someone in your company who's passionate? Who has true, unedited knowledge to share? Maybe you're not ready to go out in the world with a full-fledged blog, but at least give this person voice in the form of a column with at last two or three blog characteristics. Let this person reach out and touch your customers in a new way. See what the response is like. Your newsletter readers will welcome the freshness and reward you with renewed interest -- in not only your newsletter but also your company.
· Unedited knowledge to share

· Unedited Escape to share [COLD River]

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Literature The Right Of The People To Sell Books...

Last year two 20-somethings decided to sell books on the streets of New Orleans. But the city said they needed a permit. But it wasn't possible to get a permit.
· They won... [Reason 06/20/03]
· Peddling fiction on the footpath one way for busker to get published [SMH6/6/03]
· A writer's underground market [IHT ]

The term "Orwellian" itself has now recast around the phenomenon of totalitarianism the sort of "euphemistic thrall" — gorgeous phrase — it once helped to sweep away.
· Some subjects have no market value. They only have value. Literary journalism is one of them. [CliveJames]
Media Following Ari Baba's Footsteps

Ari Flesher is leaving the White House. The presidential press corps should do the same and start covering real administration news...
· Comical Iraq Ari (sic) [SMH ]
· US Stand-up Comic Ari [Tompaine]
· It took a British journalist to put the American Defence Secretary on the spot. [Independent ]
· Inner sanctums of various lobby groups [Tompaine ]
I love this man, for his honesty, his hatred of cruelty and oppression, his passion for social justice, his love of men and nature, the flavor of his personality, and I believe that it is very good that he has lived and written and I grieve for his early death as for the death of a friend...

My Own Private Orwell: Why the high priest of dystopia still matters

Had he lived to be an old man and not died a young one, George Orwell would have been 100 years old on June 25.
· For Well or For Ill [Westchester ]
7/7 1980 Remembering May Be Our Final Distinction From '1984'

MEMORY AID: When people ask you if you were a collaborator or agent for the communist secret police back in the old days, do you find yourself answering, Senator, I do not recall at this time? Now, with the Interior Ministry's recently re-released list of friends of the STB, you can jog your memory! Download and browse the long list of names in the convenience of your own home, away from the prying television cameras recording the faces of those old techno-phobes who showed up at the distribution office for the dead tree version. It's all there, unless of course you've been clever enough to switch your citizenship to another country sometime in the past 13 years.
· In that case, the government won't include your name with the rest of the group! [ ViaPragueBlog]
· Cash-for-visa scandal continued to widen [ SMH]
2003 AD Hungary 1956 & Czechoslovakia 1968

So far as one can tell from the patchy reports, it sounds more like Hungary 1956 than Czechoslovakia 1989. The reports are still patchy but this summer's looking more like 1989 every day. The only question is which of the European models applies: the Czech version, where the old monsters are civilized enough to perform one real service for their people by handing power over peacefully; the Romanian version, where the saner elements in the ruling party decide to remove the leadership and hope that's enough to assuage their subjects; the Bulgar version, where the former Royal Family returns from exile to spearhead a new democracy . . .
· Axis of Models [Suntimes ]

Friday, June 27, 2003

Library: An Unquiet History

The charm of Battles' book lies in its historical sweep and its appreciation for the browser's delight. Cicero to Swift, Bacon to Borges - this is a book full of breezy learnedness. An earnest and passionate bibliophile, Battles traces the varied forms of writing and book-making from the bamboo and silk of ancient China, clay tablets of Mesopotamia and Mayan deerskin, to the more familiar wax tablets, papyrus scrolls, and, finally, parchment of the medieval Western world. Mostly, though, it is what Battles calls "biblioclasms" that capture his imagination - great moments in the collecting, cataloging and destruction of books.
· Mesopotamia [Newsday ]
· Biblioclasms [ Amazon]
Life would be unbearable if events occured at random in a completely unpredictable way and unintesresting, in the other extreme, if everything were deterministic and completely predictable. Each phenomenon is a curious mixture of both, which makes life complicated but not uninteresting.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Madness is something rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule.
This quote is from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche (published in 1866)

Which Patriots, (HomeSecurity), Exactly Will The Act Protect?...

Like Paul Krugsman, Tim Dunlop of Road to Surfdom rubs more salt into the PR wound of the Coalition of the Willing who are Unable to provide the facts, evidence and acceptable reasons for decisions
· Bad memory day: Lunatics are in Charge of the Asylumn [RoadToBullydom ]
· Australia's domestic intelligence agency, ASIO, will have aggressive new powers [SMH]
· The Making Of A Hero: The Myth Of Jessica Lynch [CTNow ]
· Just HiStory [OJR ]

Tales Being a Good CitizenChild

No children’s story in all of Western literature more powerfully impresses upon its reader or listener what I have been saying about the "office" of being a good child than Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. When I teach Pinocchio in the college classroom, some students quickly make the observation that Pinocchio lacks a strong parental figure, that in practical terms he is an orphan. But other students are quick to challenge this interpretation and point out that although Pinocchio and Geppetto are separated through most of the story, the carpenter who has made the puppet is an important parent figure.
· Nosy Cchio [BreakPoint]

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

GST It's the GST's third birthday, and it's still a winner for the Government

I think it might be an idea to celebrate the GST's birthday with a bit of an audit. The media have lost interest in it, but we all have to keep paying it and I get a steady trickle of letters from readers inquiring about its health and welfare.
Just how much money is it raising? How much of that money is going to the premiers as promised? Has it put an end to tax evasion? And, to put it bluntly, how many of the promises we were made have turned out to be "non-core"?
· GST proved to be an absolute ripper of a revenue-raiser [In the name of GST: Ross Gittins]

First, the REPORTER gathers information by interviewing PEOPLE and trying to write down what they say, getting approximately 35 percent of it right. The REPORTER then writes a STORY, which goes to an EDITOR, who bitterly resents the REPORTER because the REPORTER gets to go outside sometimes, whereas the EDITOR is stuck in the building eating NEWSPAPER CAFETERIA ''FOOD'' that was originally developed by construction-industry researchers as a substitute for PLYWOOD."
...Sounds right to me.....
· Right or wrong, we're journalists [ MiamiHerald]

In the first of a two-part series, Chuck Neubauer, Judy Pasternak and Richard T. Cooper of the Los Angeles Times examined lobbying and disclosure records to find that at least 17 senators and 11 members of the House have family members who lobby or work as consultants on government relations, most in Washington and often for clients who rely on the related lawmakers' goodwill.
· Lawmakers' goodwill [Los Angeles Times ]

Making of sausages: Bipartisanship is another name for date rape

My experience on one "standing committee", covering the criminal justice bill, was enough to convince me of this. Whole clauses were not even debated because time was too short. Changes of huge significance, such as storing DNA from anyone who is taken to a police station, were introduced at the last minute and discussed for less than an hour.
· The House of Commons is quite useless at scrutinising legislation [GuardianUK
Blogging Why I stopped blogging

The DISEASE is everywhere. It is worse than SARS, scarier than monkeypox (which hit Ohio, not France, by the fucking way), and more pertinent to the substance of America than Laci Paterson or is it Peterson’s bloody awful death will ever be.
So I’m sorry to my friends who came to rely on me. I may eventually get back to posting news. But right now my RAGE is beyond def con five. Right now I’m in a life rand death struggle with the DISEASE.

· And if you can’t figure outa what the DISEASE is, then I’m sorry, this apology isn’t for you [LiberalArtMafia ]
· Discussion About Blogging [DeadParrot ]
· Review [SpokesmanReview]
· Bistro Blogger [MediaBistro ]
· Blog rape [NoMoreMister]

· Corporate Blog by PA? [NTimes ]
· Meckler [Weblogs ]

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Media Whistleblowers

Unless you are a voracious reader of the news, it was a story you may well have missed. On an otherwise quiet Friday the 13th in June, the Wall Street Journal reported in its B section that the Securities and Exchange Commission had given two former Lucent employees, Nina Aversano and Bill Plunkett, what are called "Wells notices," alerts that they are likely to be the target of a civil action by the government. The following day, the Bergen Record, based not far from Lucent's New Jersey headquarters, noted the Journal story in under 300 words. And the Washington Post covered it in a single paragraph...
· Wells notices [Fortune ]
Madness is something rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule.
This quote is from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche (published in 1866)

Media The War, Brought To You By The White House

To See What Media Consolidation Will Do To Australian Television, Look No Further Than The US - Where Glutton Bowl Is Typical
· Life boils down to two things: power and powerlessness [CommonNightmares]
· Media Laws [ParliamentaryLibrary]
A painter, Lucian Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud, once said: My work is purely autobiographical ... It is about myself and my surroundings. I work from people that interest me and that I care about, in rooms that I know... When I look at a body it gives me choice of what to put in a painting, what will suit me and what won't. There is a distinction between fact and truth. Truth has an element of revelation about it. If something is true, it does more than strike one as merely being so.
He also said: I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.
Kurt Eichenwald ’83 is dedicated to uncovering corporate crime

Media Devils in the Details

Business is the only thing that’s really great to write about any more. It is the last area of society where there is power that can affect people’s lives for better or worse and can be largely unchecked. You are not going to have another Nixon or see the CIA run amok. Lots of people learned a lot from the ’60s and ’70s. The complexity of the business world has presented barriers to entry, Eichenwald says; often, this is “either because people don not understand it or because people don not pay attention.
He says he is not reflexively anti-business, but anti-crime, and that he is driven, in part, by knowledge that massive corporate crime has little victims: the elderly investors who lost all because of Prudential-Bache’s fraud in the 1980s or the struggling farmers who had to pay higher prices for feed additives because of ADM’s price-fixing schemes.

· The Informant: A True Story [Swarthmore]

Companies Darkest hour is just before the dawn: Fraud and its discontents

In light of the accounting scandals plaguing corporate America, board members who do not understand the increasingly complex financial transactions that companies engage in are placing their firms, and possibly themselves, in serious legal and financial jeopardy. But there is another, perhaps more subtle, message stemming from these scandals as well: Aggressive accounting, even the keeping of different sets of books, does not always constitute fraudulent behavior.
· Sets of books [News ]

Monday, June 23, 2003

Election 2004 The Proletarian Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

A few days ago, John Edwards delivered the most audacious speech of the 2004 presidential season. In a nutshell, Edwards is trying to turn the traditional politics of left and right upside down. It may be too crazy to pull off, but it's easily the most interesting thing anybody in this race has said so far.
· Bush: a crook-coddling pinko [Slate ]
The question that comes to mind then is why are so many of us in such a lousy mood? Pessimistic. Anxious. Frustrated. Positively verklempt.
· Be Happy [Published in MacLeans]
Spies Corporate spies everywhere, stealing secrets worth billions every year

It should have come as no surprise last week when Boeing Corp. revealed that some of its employees may have used a competitor's trade secrets to help win a lucrative government contract in 1998. After all, in the world of business, corporate espionage is about as old as the wheel itself. Imagine the surprise on its inventor's face when he saw a fellow in the next cave selling an exact replica. i>
· What these thieves want is just as varied as the techniques they use to get it [JWR ]
Rick’s Café in Casablanca is a tiny, humane civil society caught between forces of war.
My Favourite Movie The fragility of civic space

By most accounts, Casablanca was something of an accident. Six screenwriters were modifying a play called Everybody Comes to Rick's; they changed the script daily. The movie is also a movie about itself.
· Casablanca [Prospect viaArts&Letters)]
Rick’s Café in Casablanca is a tiny, humane civil society caught between forces of war.
My Favourite Movie The fragility of civic space

By most accounts, Casablanca was something of an accident. Six screenwriters were modifying a play called Everybody Comes to Rick's; they changed the script daily. The movie is also a movie about itself.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Great empires and dictators do not die by murder, but suicide...

Leadership Selfinflicted Favours

Representatives Tom DeLay (R- Texas), Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Joe Barton (R- Texas) are implicated in a bribery scandal involving a corrupt Kansas electric utility, Westar Energy. The basic facts are not in dispute and, sadly, the story reads like routine Washington: wealthy special interests (Westar and its executives) contribute lots of money to key politicians (DeLay, Tauzin and Barton) in exchange for special legislative favors.
· Utilising Power [TomPaine ]
Recent Moment in History of Resistance...

Tom Barker an influential Australian union activist of I.W.W. was jailed for writing and printing arguably the most famous poster of World War 1:
Capitalists, Parsons, Politicians, Landlords, Newspaper Editors and other
stay-at-home Patriots

Baker was placed on a ship in late 1918 with seven other I.W.W. deportees. The ship disembarked it's human cargo in Chile as the deportees were not welcome back in their countries of origin.
(PHD students please make it your mission to find out what happened to Baker... What a bestseller thesis for uni publishers and modern times )
Having Sex with Politicians

I have a friend who imagines having sex with politicians. Sophie is a beautiful, intelligent, warm-hearted and apparently sane woman in her 30s. She doesn't visualise sexual acts with public men for her own pleasure. She does it when she wants to know how to vote, or to predict how others will vote. John Howard is the exception who proves the rule: Sophie says sex is only a determinant when all other things are equal. In 1996, Keating seemed too tired for sex, not to mention government, and in 1998 and 2001 other factors intruded to give the definitively unsexy Howard an unfair advantage. Indeed, it was only Kim Beazley's cuddly sex appeal that kept Labor from being wiped out.
· Exclusive Polling [Sexy Morning Hlory ]
· I have a taxi driver friend who imagines having... [ SundayNine]

Saturday, June 21, 2003

You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'
George Bernard Shaw

Amerika, Amerika... New World: East of Eden

Half a world away, a young writer named John Steinbeck visits Eastern Europe for the first time in search of a mystical manuscript ostensibly written by his grandfather, who was once the mayor of Odessa. Steinbeck begins his journey with the help of a sex-starved Slavic teen named Balki, who speaks in hilarious pidgin English and dreams of having sex with his mother's cousin.
· Sex Starved Slavs [NealPollak(sic) ]

Who won the Cold War? We did. Our generation, proclaims Arthur Phillips in "Prague, a novel that takes place in Budapest. And in return, We Young Americans want:
· 1) your half-dollar beers, 2) your women, and 3) well... everything else [Forward]
· Are Balkis Too Sexy for Japanese Women? [BrazilianHerald]

Many a spouse has reconsidered, at the eleventh hour, taking the kids and running from an abusive mate.
· Luck of the Irish [Heart&Exile ]
New Media If you build it they will come: Blogging and the new citizenship

There's an old joke where two kids are sitting in a room and one says to the other, There's an aphrodisiac behind that radiator. And the other says, What's a radiator?
· The new public intellectuals are out there [Tim Dunlop of Road To Surfdom fame]
· The new Czech public intellectuals are out there [Politalk] and IWantMedia,

Weblogs run by one person who acts as writer, editor, publisher, ad salesman, promotions director, janitor, etc.
· Must-see Slave Sites for Media Junkies. [OJR ]
· Bohemian Bloggers Rate the Most Influential Blogs [OJR]

Directories of Blogs

RSS Directory, from blogStreet, contains a listing of 11,000+ RSS feeds of blogs, making it one of the largest directories of RSS.
See also Technorati, with "384,996 weblogs watched," that recently launched a new · Keyword Search (Beta) feature that supports Boolean searching.
Brisbane is often described as the biggest cemetery in the world. Indeed, it is the most beautiful resting place and even Slavic cemeteries do not compare with Toowong, situated below the mountain called Dark Honey. According to biblical gospel by Jozef, Rupert Murdoch's choice for his everlasting Catholic retirement is Brisbane rather than Adelaide. Brisbane is also in the good books with many writers. No reviewer in the world comes close to Australian Italian word master Dr Rosemary Sorensen. Rosemary has many talents including public speaking and ability to juggle radio, newspapers, conferences, even replying to emails ...She is always ready to craft ways to connect strangers of this wonderful world...
Suddenly a thousand crystals of perception of our own formed, the original insight of the story ordering whole arrays of discoveries inside us, into winking accuracy.

Australian Oprah Spreading Secret Pleasures

Memory confirms it, for many of those who were eager readers as children remain eager-reading adults. We can remember readings that acted like transformations. There were times when a particular book, like a seed crystal, dropped into our minds when they were exactly ready for it, like a supersaturated solution, and suddenly we changed.
· A Little Jozinko [Rupert Potter: His Very Own Family Paper]
· No concept is more central to the work of teachers than the concept of growth.
· The library is an important but sometimes overlooked part of a school.

Friday, June 20, 2003

New World Masters still giving slaves the blues

There should be some sort of recognition of the longer hours people are working and the amount of unpaid overtime . . . the fact that some people can't get out to the bank.
· Shopping on office internet 'should be part of the job' [SMH ]
Newspapers are a great tool for teaching and learning about the value of public records.

Practical public records in action!

Jeanene Harlick of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reviewed local government and non-profit records to find that when it comes to $4.3 million in annual county grants, "financially floundering agencies are routinely given more public money. There is minimal follow-up with agencies that fail to turn in yearly audits."
· Weapons of Mass Democracy [SantaCruz viaScoop]

Across southeast Michigan, taxpayers are being shut out of meetings and denied access to public records as officials thwart citizen efforts to learn what government is doing on their behalf -- with their money.
· Taxpayers [ Freep]
· Public Data [Indigan ]
Motives for war were pure, but the use of information was not. Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has identified among the telltale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, a doctrine that is riddled with contradictions, the belief that one's cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one's message.

Deflation 2004 AD Deflation: It Threatens the United States--and the World

At the risk of sounding like Chicken Little, I am going to describe the economic situation in plain English. The United States is flirting with a low-grade depression.
· Weapons of Mountainous Deflation [Nation via CommonDreams ]
I swear this will be the only time I ever mention admirers of the Moravian born Freud on my blog, but this is too wicked to resist. Bailey is the word du jour on the psychology beat!

Freudian Psychology The Man Who Would Be Queen

You can determine a man's sexual orientation after simply listening to him talk for 20 seconds. · Homosexuality and transsexuality are part of the same continuum [Chronicle]
They jiggle their bottoms, put their little fingers in the air and with their little castrato voices moan about what those ghastly heteros put them through.
· BRIGITTE Bardot [A Cry of Silence]
· Jesus was gay – the University of Judas gave 51,000 Silver Coins [Hello, Saviour!]

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Ethics Placed Trust

Maybe it's dumb to hope for better from Labor, but the way Crean won the leadership creates a glimmer that things are on the turn. Since a glimmer of hope is all you've got, don't shut your eyes. Crean needs all the positive energy he can get right now. His email address is S.Crean.MP(at)
· Grassroots of Crean [SMH]
MISPLACED TRUST: Guardians in Control

Carol D. Leonnig, Lena H. Sun and Sarah Cohen of the Washington Post launched a series on flaws in the guardianship system in the District of Columbia. Sunday's piece highlighted court-appointed guardians who failed to file required reports on their clients or misspent clients' money. Monday's installment shows how elderly or mentally ill residents have been pulled involuntarily into a court system that can run roughshod over those it is supposed to protect.
· Roughshod [WashingtonPost ]
· Slipping Through The Net [SMH ]
Human Nature Like Communist Deja Vu All Over Again (sic): Jobs for the Boys

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich has quietly created new high-paying positions and layers of bureaucracy that, in many cases, reward legislative allies, campaign workers and others who helped him get elected. Dozens of campaign aides, associates and relatives of advisors have landed state posts, some of which were newly created or filled only when a waiver of a hiring freeze policy was granted.
· Power Corrupts; Absolutely! [BlatimoreSun(viaScoop)]
What is it with critics pronouncing this or that artist the greatest of a generation? Laziness, that's what!

Critics Critics get paid to make judgments. And I’m fine with that

It says the critic has reached a plateau of self-importance on which he wants to go around conferring cultural knighthoods on artist-commoners who’ve managed to rise above their making-clever-baubles-for-the-rich stations to become, almost, big thinkers.
· The Greatest, Whatever, Uh-huh [Newsweek 06/12/03 ]

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Jozef, who escaped from communism on the 7th of the 7th 1980 AD finds it hard not to break the Seventh Commandment of Weblogging. #7 states: Thou shalt not commit weblog-adultery with other people's hard-earned links unless you carefully mark them with a 'via' credit. (Position your wivlogs behind iron curtains)
· If you want to score with Jozef, be on the web [WorldTreasure Via China: Mot Setaoc ]
Media Meet the (Meta)Press: Jack Shafer

Slate's "Press Box" columnist on his job, the Times, and not moving with the pack.
· Am I Rich; Am I Right or Am I Too Early? [MediaBistro ]
2004 election Weblog dedicated to providing news, opinion and commentary

Why. Let's face it, politics are confusing. Sometimes it's difficult to know who to believe, who to listen to and who to support. We're here to help. Posting on a regular basis are editors representing each major party. Stay informed.
· No More Lapdog [Watchdog ]
· Not just for kids: how telling stories about the world shapes society [Jenny Ostini:OLO]
· James Cumes: Lying, conniving political 'leaders' cannot keep their jobs following Iraq [OLO]
Vonnegut launched a scathing attack of American conservatism, saying, What are the conservatives doing with all the money and power that used to belong to all of us? ... they have turned loose a myriad of our high–tech weapons, each one costing more than a hundred high schools, on a Third World country, in order to shock and awe human beings like us, like Adam and Eve, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. ... Conservatives are crazy as bedbugs. They are bullies.
· Vonnegut gets a few things off his chest . . . [Bullies&Bedbugs]
The renowned Czech author, Milan Kundera, reminds us that the struggle of man over power is the struggle of memory over forgetting.

Conspiracies are all the rage in world politics these days

A majority of Arabs believe that Israel was responsible for the September 11 attacks. Antiwar activists believe that the U.S. government "created" Saddam Hussein. And, of course, there's endless innuendo surrounding the relationship between prominent neoconservatives and U.S. foreign policy. Critics across the ideological spectrum accuse neocons of being a foreign policy cabal, stealthily fomenting their own conspiracy theories as a way of manipulating the Bush administration. Or are the critics themselves guilty of conspiracy-mongering? Will the real paranoids please stand up?
· Will the real paranoids please stand up? [TNR

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

So you want to write a book? What are you, an lunatic? You will lose money, maybe friends and family. You’ll be miserable. You’re not even listening. Lunatics never do.

Cold River Freezing Reality

Isn't it interesting how many people dream of writing a book? It's sweet, and it's (mostly) harmless, and I guess I once semi-shared that dream, and I guess one or two brain cells still make room for the possibility that I will someday write a book (fat chance).
· God is dead but my book is published... [BlowHard(viaArts&Letters)]
Meditation on but two themes: Bullying and Power...
Senate Obstructing government or stopping bullies: what do Australians think about government control of the Senate?

Is John Howard right to call the Senate a house of obstruction, asks Shaun Wilson. A plurality of Australians prefer a non-government controlled Senate, and this is the strong preference of a large number of Australians who think government is run by for big interests. Howard says constitutional reforms like the one he proposes are notoriously difficult to pass. He is right, large numbers of Australians don’t share his views about the Senate because they don’t share his views about power.
· a House of Obstruction [Uni/Sydney ]
· His Story: House of Harry [NationalTreasure ]
Crime Hot Guns

For many years, most police forces attached little importance to tracing where a gun came from or trying to halt the supply of guns to criminals and juveniles.
· Investigation [Muckraker]
· Judicial Facts and Figures [USCourts]
New Media Tips & Tricks

Searching the Web can be a frustrating exercise. Here are some tips and tricks to help you find exactly what you want from the leading search engine.
· HayStack [TechnologyReview ]

John Palfrey, of the Berkman Center, noted:
Three or four months ago we created Weblogs at Harvard Law, a blogspace; we put it up and watched to see what happened--like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Anyone with a Harvard email address can now get a weblog in that space--including untold numbers of alumni, etc.
We've learned three things, pretty quickly: 1.) watch out about becoming an ISP, 2.) be ready for take-off, it happens more quickly than you think and 3.) blogs are good for the Web and good for you.

· Blogspace Spaghetti [BlogsLaw]

Monday, June 16, 2003

No wreaths please -- /especially no hot-house flowers. /Some common memento is better, /something he prized and is known by.
William Carlos Williams

Memo to My Two Daughters Ashes To Art (Hi, Papa, Dedko, Jozef)

Miss that special someone? Now you can keep them around, even after they're dead. A Seattle artist is making urns from human ashes, following a formula Josiah Spode invented in 1797, producing fine English china glaze by adding calcinated cow bone to the company's clay mixture. Friends and relatives of various deceased gave him the ashes he's using in his human urn sculptures. Each comes in an edition of two, one piece for the commissioning parties and one for him.
· Dust to Dust [Seattle Post-Intelligencer 13/06/03 (Black Friday Paranoia of Andy Grave (sic) Fame: Only the Paranoid Will Survive)]
· Where do rich babies come from? [Booklab ]
Epilogue: The name and initials my parents, Maria and Jozef, gave me— Jozef Imrich! & JI!— are loaded with exquisite and sad irony.
Learning Government How can Governments learn?

Geoff Mulgan, head of Tony Blair's Strategy Unit, describes how Whitehall's bureaucracy has learnt to learn from international examples.
· Smart State [OpenDemocracy]
The Czech writer, former dissident and now former president Vaclav Havel once said to me that there are three kinds of English: There's the kind of English that Czechs speak to Spaniards and Italians speak to Russians. Here, you understand 100 per cent. American English - you get about 50 per cent. Then there's English English, of which you understand nothing.

Extremes of Europe Dissident Views

Two types of European today: the deeply Europeanized anti-European and the deeply Americanized anti-American.
· Ashes to Ashes [NewStateman ]
Truth It's Too Early To Start Using The 'I-word' About Bush

What is an impeachable offense? In the case of former President Bill Clinton, Democrats argued that his personal misconduct did not rise to that level (though in my mind lying to a grand jury certainly did). In this case, it seems irrefutable that if a president knowingly led the country into war on the basis of faulty or hyped intelligence, such conduct would reach that level.
· WMD & I [Sunspot ]
· Beating Around the I

Sunday, June 15, 2003

I have a sense of social responsibility, but it is separate from my playwriting. But, I don't want to shovel more shit into the culture. When I write a play I want it to have heart and magic. If a piece on stage connects to one or two people, it has done its job.

Passion The Playwright: An Instrument of Social Change?

We see ourselves as post-politics and moderate. In other countries, artistic-emotional response is deeply tied to politics. The media and power structure are afraid of politics, not the audience. Storytelling is controlled by a layer of bureaucracy. For me, an audience is a community and theatre is about helping a community define itself. The more opposing viewpoints I'm able to unearth and put on stage, the stronger the sense of community in that theatre.
· Impassioned about political-social issues [Backstage]
· Trotsky's ghost wandering the White House... [His Story Stage]
· Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public [Dissent Margazine]
Bohemian Antipodeans The Expat Living Room; Police, the strip club and a whole lot of trouble

While Tim is sitting in the living room typing and wearing a pair of black footy shorts and a loose-fitting black-and-blue flannalette shirt..., four men were hospitalised after being set upon by up to a dozen men at the Stripperama on Darlinghurst Road in the early hours of the morning.

· Stripperama: Write Loose [Road to Sydney]
Epilogue: Fact Czech and Write tight? We should be exceptionally drunk when we blog?
The Great Seals of Democracies go all the way back to the Roman poet Virgil: Novus Ordo Seclorum a new age now begins. Page Smith reminds us that their ambition was not merely to free themselves from dependence and subordination to the Crown but to inspire people everywhere to create agencies of government and forms of common social life that would offer greater dignity and hope to the exploited and suppressed.
The fist political party to link its salary increases to nurses, policemen, and teachers will reap those salty intangible benefits: such as Respect.

Self interest Prevails Condoning Acts

The $4000-a-year increase is 30 per cent above the anticipated CPI increase for this year. The base pay of a nurse is $36,723, which is one-third of the salary of the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Matt Brown, MP for Kiama, who will be taking home $116,544 a year from July 1. (John Conde: Democratic Gift Bearer)
· New Democracies don't arrive overnight, or without blood, sweat, and tears... [SMH ]
Epilogue: The only black sheep to oppose the pay rise was Senator Bob Brown.
How were we to know banks would be giving us interest for borrowing money? The devil is in a detail and the house prices in 2004. Would you like to purchase a house? Fictional Real Agent asked. I was tempted to reply, as my daughters do when you think up something to do that you hope will really please them, but then, I said: Only if I can't find instruments blunt enough to stick in my eyes.

D Days Down they go: home rates at 5 per cent

Some fixed mortgage interest rates are set to plunge below 5 per cent within days as lenders woo borrowers ahead of expected rate cuts by the Reserve Bank.
· Deflation DownUnder [SMH ]
· House prices have doubled over the last eight years yet stamp duty has tripled [DT]

Saturday, June 14, 2003

When it comes to deceiving the public, it is obvious that neither political party has a monopoly: both are equally duplicitous.

Bipartisanship Both Parties Are Weighed In Balance And Found Lying

This is a bipartisan scandal deserving of bipartisan rope around bipartisan necks, and it is a waste of time arguing just who deserves the shortest rope or the tallest tree.
· The Dog Ate My Weapons of Mass Deceptions [GodLikeProductions]
Kafkaesque You Can Lead A Horse To Water... And Now You Can Lead Users To Tax Materials!
With the exception of sex, perhaps, death , the most heated topics in the world today are over tax policy.
· Barbershop Wisdom [TaxingTimes]
History Mitteleurepoean by temperament Antipodean by exile

History books favor stories of conquests, escapes and exiles, not of continuity, so it is perhaps not surprising that many Europeans grow up believing they are a fighting mixture of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans who invaded Britain. The defeated Celts, by this reckoning, left their legacy only in the hinterlands of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
· Breathing His Story [NYTimes]
· Reading Thoughtli(n)es on Civil Wars & Helenkas Peas [Eurekalert]
As the State Legislature prepares to levy the largest tax increase in the history of the state on us, people have asked me a couple of important questions. For instance, they want to know why state government is so screwed up.

Reforming State Government Get The Principles Right and Solutions Will Follow

The simple answer is that Alabama's state government, and just about all local government for that matter, is dysfunctional because they operate in opposition to principles that promote quality and value.
· Do we have enough money or do we need to raise taxes? [BirminghamTimes]

While states scramble for money, the federal government is cutting taxes. What does that mean to the average American? Some will pay more to their state than they get back from Washington, others will come out ahead — depending on where they live and their habits, like smoking, drinking or speeding.

States craft budget plans

An Associated Press analysis of budget work in all 50 states found many are trying to target their tax hikes or increase fees — allowing politicians to make claims that they did not raise income taxes. But those states that have raised across-the-board taxes such as income, sales or property taxes will get more money.
· Be prepared for tough times and tough choices [Dodgeglobe]
I think I was expected to say that blogs would kill The New York Times and that Big Media -- as in 'Big Media, the homogenous monolith' -- was screwed. Which is just silly. Even I am not that stupid. Big Media does a perfectly good job of screwing itself without the help of blogs! (See Blair, Jayson.)

In the special report published today, BusinessWeek Online says: In more ways than ever before, people are incorporating the Net into all corners of their lives. Czech other links (right toppish corner)

New Media The Wild World of "Open-Source Media"

Web logs, or blogs, offer everyone a platform for political commentary, diary writing, and sharing links. And the best are truly influential
· A Directory of Wonderful Things [*BusinessWeekOnline]
· Local Weblogs Gawk, Stalk -- But Balk at Minting $$ [OJR ]

The Wired 40

Meet the masters of innovation, technology, and strategic vision - 40 companies that are reshaping the global economy.
Highlighting companies driven by innovative thinking, not marketplace brawn.

· [01]Media Dragon [02]Google [03]Nokia [03!]Yahoo! [Wired]

Friday, June 13, 2003

Freedom Economic Freedom Watch Report

Excessive government intervention, high taxes, and restrictions on property rights and the freedom to work are eroding economic freedom in Australia. Unless reforms resume, Australians will not be able to reap the full benefits of closer economic relations with the United States. The growing integration with the relatively free US economy will make further reforms imperative and will make integration with the US more rewarding.
· Our Children the big losers [The Centre for Independent Studies (PDF file)]
AJR has a piece on how the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has beefed up its
statehouse bureau, expanding it to nine staffers this year. The paper's new
managing editor, Hank Klibanoff, explains why: In my view, the decline
of investigative journalism is directly related to the reduction of coverage
of state government, because some of the juiciest stories come out of
statehouse coverage. Many of the conflict-of-interest stories that I conside
to be ripe for investigative reporting come out of covering the government.


Legislators & Resurrection in Dorothy Dixie

Salzer and Henry Unger described how, moments after lawmakers had
passed a bill weakening the legal protections against predatory lending
practices, two state reps "walked into a pack of jubilant bank and mortgage
lobbyists," from whom they "received handshakes, back slaps and even a hug
And another reporter, Ken Foskett, wrote a graphic description of life at an
Atlanta condominium complex where legislators and lobbyists mingle after
hours, drinking and noshing at the Alcohol Dealers Association's hospitality
suite. Life at the condos, one legislator said, is kind of like being in a dorm
with your classmates.

· The art of investment in exposing modern political bullies [AJR]

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Don Waller wants everyone who cares about free speech to help get the word out about this frivolous lawsuit. Read his essay, link to it on your websites, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, help get the word out..

Media What is the Weiner lawsuit against TBTM (Take Back The Media) really about?

[Michael 'Michael Savage'] Weiner filed suit against 3 small web sites -,, and Take Back The Media.
It's about a large corporation attempting to take away the free speech of regular Americans with a point of view. It's about people with deep pockets using money and influence to run roughshod over people who don't agree with them.

· Pendering the Power of the Purse [TakeBacktheMedia ]
Erecting eee Elections Electronic Rigging?

As election officials scramble to replace old, Florida-style voting systems with new, modern ones, many people are beginning to question the wisdom of entrusting our precious ballots to an entirely computerized process. These concerns are well-founded.
· Paper Trail: Vote Early Vote Often [TomPaine ]

Paul Krugman Who's Accountable?

I'll tell you what's outrageous. It's not the fact that people are criticizing the administration; it's the fact that nobody is being held accountable for misleading the nation into war...
· Dodgy Dossier of Mass Deception [NYTimes ]
All these leaders were on record in favor of small government – but their opposition wasn't simply to government as such. It was to government's power to confer privilege on insiders; on the rich who were democracy's equivalent of the royal favorites of monarchist days...

Crowds & Cowards The Parable Of The Sheep

The sheep were nervous. Recently some wolves had gotten into the flock and killed some of them. There was shock, of course, and outrage...
How will this story unfold? Will the sheep calmly accept these conditions? Will they stand up on their hind legs and demand more grass? Stay tuned, children, for the next episode.

· Parable [CommonDream ]

We The People This is Your Story - The Progressive Story of America. Pass It On

Let me make it clear that I don't harbor any idealized notion of politics and democracy; I worked for Lyndon Johnson, remember? Nor do I romanticize "the people." You should read my mail – or listen to the vitriol virtually spat at my answering machine. I understand what the politician meant who said of the Texas House of Representatives, If you think these guys are bad, you should see their constituents.
· Heirs: The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few [BacktoFuture]

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Of the two, GST happens several times a year.

Taxing Times A Tale of Two Tax Mentalities

Would you rather be rich today in Sydney or Baghdad?
· ATO Targets Executives [Australian]
· Demanding the closure of tax loopholes [Sydney Morning Herald]
He starts to shake and cough/ Just like the / old man in / that book by Nabokov
-Sting, in one of his more contrived rhymes

Literature Top100 Books Reviewed

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man rings True, even when talking about things that I've never experienced. I loved the merciful nature of the priest. For some reason I never forgot the snippet when he told the priest he'd sinned sexually:
"With yourself?"
"Yes… and with a woman."

How to be a better writer than William Faulkner

Picture a naked emperor, marching down the street with his genitals shriveled from the cold. But I figured out it was Quentin, who was talking like a male, except she was a female in the previous chapter. So was some transgender action going on so Quentin could get to Harvard?
PS: Do NOT name a female character Quentin or Dempster...
· Soma: A Portrait of the Reviewer [Dough Shaw]

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

In the publicity coup of the year, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was chosen today to narrate the audio book version of Senator Hillary Clinton's best-selling memoir, "Living Oral History."

Literature Stop That Book

This season has seen more than its usual share of embargoed books, from Hillary Clinton's memoir Living History, published on Monday, to Stephen Glass' novel The Fabulist, to Jozef Imrich's account of his years in the exile, Kama Sydney. Most media junkies know that when a book is "embargoed," they can expect a Big Gossipy Event.
A publicist might calculate that embargoing his book would help build public anticipation—and that juicy tidbits, slowly revealed, might generate more media coverage and therefore higher sales. (An embargo also protects material that a publicist wants to leak to only one news outlet.) (This is part of the reason Simon & Schuster threatened to sue the AP, even though the leak generated useful free publicity.)
And of course, access to embargoed material can be a sure sign that you're in the game, in the know—true of both those who issue the embargo, and those who get the scoop.

· emBuggered & you're in the Game [Slate ]
An economy that fails for working people cannot work, in the long run, for the wealthy. You are better off being prosperous and paying tax than going down in the first-class cabins of a sinking ship. Life is a shipwreck. And we cannot choose whether we survive it or not. What we have to choose is how well we behave among the chaos, and what small decisions we make along the way to allow us to live with ourselves. And, of course, how well we commemorate the lives of those who didn't make it.

Cold River Drowning, First-Class Style

You have sung the hymns and heard the readings. This is the sermon. To begin on a somber note, the bubble and the bust of high technology, the debt build-up of American households, the obsession with a strong dollar -- all of this existed before we got George Bush. The late 1990s were a fine time, but they set the stage for a slump which began in late 2000, from which we have not recovered, and will not recover soon.
· Life is a shipwreck, you survive or you don't. [TomPaine ]
Media Managing Journalists: A Tough Course

The great publishers of successful newspapers share the same commitment to the news as their editors, don't flinch under pressure from advertisers or governments and believe that dedication to no-punches-pulled reporting is what makes their papers attractive as businesses as well. Hence, they are profitable and can continue to put money into improving the news operation.
· Penetrating Culture [WashingtonPost ]
· Why does the press do such a bad job dealing with the press?

Monday, June 09, 2003

The Australian Parliament: Time For Reformation

The argument that powerful government equals economic efficiency has been blown out of the cold river.
· Harry Evans [A Rare Clerk; who is not even a parliamentary Marco Polo]

Carry out your blogging dream, no matter how unlikely it may seem

The moral is: if you want to score with Google, be on the web. Otherwise, go whistle.
· Band Of Bloggers [Observing the Observers]
Strange Plasma Logic
Strange websites have found us
strangewebsites have tracked us down
They're going to destroy
our casual joys
But we will go on blogging
or find a new town.

*Doors Down Under

$4 million gets you nowhere nowadays...
· Media Dragon Deaydreams and Slays $4million on website
If I could not take refuge in posterity, in the certainty that with time my work will find its rightful place (an illusory refuge I know, but it’s the only one and absolutely necessary to the serious man of letters), I would have sent literature to the devil a thousand times.
--Giacomo Leopardi

Being Jozef Imrich My Blog is Duller than Yours

One of my guiding quotes is this one by Dostoevsky: A man may wish upon himself, in full awareness, something harmful, stupid and even completely ironic ... in order to establish his right to wish for the most idiotic things.

Have I shocked you by the ironic things I wrote to you?

I do wish sometimes I had written idiotic things like this:
· Sex Tips From Donald Rumsfeld
I sometime wish I could write under the thumb of Bettina Arndt, Old men in fear of a life stifled by marriage:

If men ever dared to reflect wistfully on former glories of patriarchy, high on the list would be the freedom once enjoyed by the man of the house to come and go as he pleased. That's long gone. The married man today rarely has rights to control his own leisure. Hell, no. He's now on a leash, a very short leash...

· Vanity Fair: Spanking good journalism
· Hiya reviewers

In the three decades since Watergate, this is the first potential scandal I have seen that could make Watergate pale by comparison. If the Bush Administration intentionally manipulated or misrepresented intelligence to get Congress to authorize, and the public to support, military action to take control of Iraq, then that would be a monstrous misdeed.
-- John Dean

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Movers and DeLayers We might follow all of the Commandments and still be dull & priggish

People like Tom "I AM the Federal Government" DeLay (not to mention John Ashcroft) are exactly why Thomas Jefferson and James Madison demanded a Bill of Rights be made part of the Constitution. They experienced first-hand, and could foresee, abuse of the awesome powers of the government for political or ideological purposes, or simply criminal activity by powerful elected officials such as theft, retribution, or revenge.
· Hot Revenge [SouthKnox]
· Police State [WashingtonPost]
Movers and Shakespeares If you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself

Despite the rigorous enforcement of hierarchical order throughout the rest of the play (including the execution of his former friend for petty theft), there is a glance here at a vaguely egalitarian "band of brothers." Perhaps this is what appeals to the Republicans the most -- the reality of aristocracy smoothed over by the rhetoric of democracy.
He was fond of war and low company: -- we know little else of him. He was careless, dissolute, and ambitious; -- idle, or doing mischief. In private, he seemed to have no idea of the common decencies of life, which he subjected to a kind of regal licence; in public affairs, he seemed to have no idea of any rule of right or wrong, but brute force, glossed over with a little religious hypocrisy and archiepiscopal advice. . . . Henry, because he did not know how to govern his own kingdom, determined to make war upon his neighbours. Because his own title to the crown was doubtful, he laid claim to that of France. Because he did not know how to exercise the enormous power, which had just dropped into his hands, to any one good purpose, he immediately undertook (a cheap and obvious resource of sovereignty) to do all the mischief he could.
· characterization of Henry [PopPolitics]

PS: In Shakespeare's "Henry VI, Part Two," Jack Cade and his rebels, planning to overthrow the king, share a utopian reverie. "The first thing we do," says one, "let's kill all the tax collectors."
It is surprising -- or is it? -- what glee that passage occasions, even today
21st Century The Long Detour

The difference between ritual Cold War tensions and the terrors of the new era—real and faux—is all too clear. Now we confront a true enemy, an unpredictable, amorphous, almost intangible seething mass of freelancers, many of them highly educated and civilized, others feral, but all acting out of rage against the new American Empire. These popular forces confront American-style capitalism spontaneously, through non-governmental groups that ignore national boundaries. And they operate with little institutional control. Unlike the old enemy, the new one mounts deadly terrorist attacks on symbols of American military and commercial power, is secretly and informally organized, and is widely dispersed. As such it offers few clear targets for political or military engagement.
· It is the price we pay for 50 years of political stagnation [InTheseTimes]
· The Century of the Bully: Winner Takes All [VOW]

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Corporate Cultures A Fascinating Portrait of Power and Privilege

The dysfunctional executives have now gone beyond unhappiness and are in danger of committing corporate suicide...

The people at the top of the corporate hierarchy grant themselves privilege after privilege, flaunt those privileges before the men and women who do the real work, then wonder why employees are unmoved by management's invocations to cut costs and boost profitability When I think of the millions of dollars spent by people at the top of the management hierarchy on efforts to motivate people who are continually put down by that hierarchy, I can only shake my head in wonder.
· Shake Heads [SMH ]
Activism Things To Do in 2003-04 Financial Year

Stop consuming content and start creating it.
By stop consuming I don't mean stop buying, or stop viewing, listening, reading, gaming. I mean start approaching the music, films, books, games, etc., as the outward manifestation of someone's creativity rather than as a product to be used up and thrown away. Start a blog! Give yourself permission to do this. You don't have to be good, you just have to do it. If you're already doing this, do it more. Encourage children to do this, however and wherever you encounter them..

· Encourage your employees and co-workers and neighbors to be creative [Corante Ideas]

Herd-Like Desssiresss
Most of us have a herd-like desire to fit in, to be appropriately dressed (which means to be wearing much the same as what everyone else in our group is wearing), to keep up with the Joneses - and, increasingly, to get ahead of the Joneses. Unhappiness sustains economic growth. The marketers and advertisers have to play on, and play up, our discontents, holding out the promise that another tub of margarine - or a Rolex watch - will bring us to nirvana.
· The truth that economists forgot: we're human [SMH ]
Leadership Brawls Moving Emotions: Sound Familiar? A Smirk, a Censored Parliamentary Foto and Talk of Disloyalty

When a man as outstandingly colourless as John Howard decides to postpone his retirement you know that Australia will continue to live in interesting times. For those who haven't read Down Under, Bryson reveals that he often forgets the name of our Prime Minister, a consequence of John Howard being by far the dullest man in Australia. Imagine a very committed funeral home director – someone whose burning ambition from the age of eleven was to be a funeral home director, whose proudest achievement in adulthood was to be elected president of the Queanbeyan and District Funeral Home Directors Association – then halve his personality and halve it again, and you have pretty well got John Howard.(Gustav Husak, former Czech President, used to be described in similar terms
According to Mike Carlton, Peter Costello, without his enfamous smirk, looked as if he had swallowed a weapon of mass destruction at his media conference this week.
Emotions seem to also govern the new Labor Party
Earlier I'd had a phone conversation with Mark Latham, unsuccessful right-wing candidate and staff member [on Carr's staff]. He in tears. Hung up on me. He later phoned in to resign. Bugger him.
· Bugger Him [Sydney Morning Herald]
Kim Beazley will challenge Simon Crean for the ALP leadership on June 16. But Labor needs more than a change at the top to solve its problems. Internal power struggles have become so bitter that even the factions are divided within themselves. Talented candidates with bright ideas find their way into Parliament blocked by factional favourites who put group loyalty ahead of fresh policies. Voters are deserting in disgust, no longer knowing what Labor stands for. John Lyons reports on a party that's tearing itself apart...
· Guerrilla War, Hard Labor & Simon Crean has left the building? [Sunday: Jana Wendt]

Friday, June 06, 2003

Media Lies, damn lies and governments

If news reporting is the first brushstroke of history we ought to do our damnedest to get it right. At every level journalists are trained to be questioning, and for good reason: they have to cover a wide field.
· Truth is not only the first casualty of war, but the road kill of the daily political process [Australian ]
· Really Rare Byrd: Iraq's WMD Intelligence: Where is the Outrage? [ June 5, 2003]

Michael Kinsley once wrote that within Corridors of Power, a gaffe is when you tell the truth, which is a clever way of saying that honesty is so rare in politics that when someone says something candid, we're all shocked.
· Conservative Journalists' Dirty Little Secret [TomPaine]
· Jayson Blair and Rick Bragg scandals [Editor&Publisher ]
The Year of the Bully: Truth Overboard & Try not to mention the War...
G'Day. I have had a number of rather strange experiences with my computer lately. (smile) However, according to another antibully blogger...I am not alone.
Like many characters who disliked how the unaccountable communism made some people to behave like beasts, I am finding that unczeched culture of contracts for the boys creates bullies who seem to bloom in Parliaments, large corporations and sadly even in many law enforcement agencies...
Indeed, 2003 is shaping out as the year of the Bully. Bullies come in different shapes, ages, nationalities and sizes, but they have one thing in common they are all obsessed with power. Most bullies lean towards a mentality of whatever it takes in order to sieze any leadership positions. In Czechoslovakia Havel spoke for the majority of the taxpayers who unwillingly kept the corrupt government in power, while Down Under Sir William Dean seems to be the answer to the taxpayers' ; yearning for a voice above politics!

Kingston Muddying the waters between guardians and traders

There is indeed a case to be made that the water has been muddied somewhere between the realms of the public and the private and that the central problem is the confusion of value sets. The businessman who aggrandises public responsibility to himself is likely to offend the ordinary person eventually, as will the public servant who wishes to play businessman. Perhaps the core problem is that all the developments described above have been driven by self-serving top dogs - those who have ascended to the commanding heights of both the public and the private sectors and who may now enjoy an unconsciously collusive relationship. In the end, it is always the ordinary person, and that includes the taxpayer, who foots the bill - and smells a rat.
· Webdiary of Modern Bullies [Sydney Morning Herald]

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Emotions The sound bite and the fury

A writer who wants to be thought of as the fucking best but doesn't give a fuck what anyone thinks. Oh, the webs we authors weave when we leave the safety of the printed page. I happen to think "A Million Little Pieces" will be a top seller with or without the aggressive hyping -- as the most scalding account of addiction in recent memory, it deserves to be -- but not all publicity is good publicity, and if these take-no-prisoner interviews continue, the book in question may soon be dwarfed by the Other Story: James Frey's bombs bursting in air. He may become the latest cautionary example of how writers compromise themselves the moment they open their mouths.
· Million Pieces [Salon]

· Watergate [Tompaine ]
Google proximity search (within 1,2, or 3 words). This isn't available directly from Google...
· Ooogle

New Media Higher (Blogger) Education Blogging is catching on with academics.

In their skeptical moments, academic bloggers worry that the medium smells faddish, ephemeral. But they also make a strong case for blogging's virtues, the foremost of which is freedom of tone. Blog entries can range from three-word bursts of sarcasm to carefully honed 5,000-word treatises. The sweet spot lies somewhere in between, where scholars tackle serious questions in a loose-limbed, vernacular mode. Blogging lso offers speed; the opportunity to interact with diverse audiences both inside and outside academe; and the freedom to adopt a persona more playful than those generally available to people with Ph.D.'s
· Skeptical moments (Chronicle of Higher Education 06/06/03)